Introduction: Blood pressure (BP) levels, beat-to-beat blood pressure variability, dynamic cerebral autoregulation and cardiac baroreceptor sensitivity are frequently abnormal following acute stroke and are associated with an adverse short- and long-term prognosis. Thiazide diuretics are effective antihypertensive agents in preventing primary and secondary stroke, but their hypotensive and cerebral autoregulatory effects in the immediate post-stroke period have not been studied.
Methods: Thirty-seven hypertensive neuroradiologically proven ischaemic stroke patients were randomized in a double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study to bendrofluazide 2.5 mg daily or matching placebo, within 96 h of stroke onset, for a 7-day period. Casual and non-invasive beat-to-beat arterial BP levels, cerebral blood flow velocity, ECG and transcutaneous carbon dioxide levels were measured within 70 +/- 20 h of cerebral infarction and again 7 days later. Dynamic cerebral autoregulatory indices, pulse interval, BP variability and cardiac baroreceptor sensitivity were also calculated.
Results: Small, non-significant falls were seen in casual and beat-to-beat BP levels over the 7-day period in both active and placebo-treated patients with no differences between treatments. No significant changes were seen in dynamic cerebral autoregulation or in cardiac baroreceptor sensitivity during the follow-up in either group.
Conclusion: Following acute ischaemic stroke, the standard dose of bendrofluazide at 2.5 mg daily in this study sample did not lower systemic BP levels over the subsequent 7-day period. There was no evidence that bendrofluazide significantly altered cerebral autoregulation or improved cardiac baroreceptor sensitivity post-ictus. Bendrofluazide appears to be an ineffective hypotensive agent at the standard dosage in the initial post-stroke period.
Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.